The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today announced that seven new primary schools are to be established in the next two years.
Announcing the new schools, the Minister said: “My Department is predicting a continuing increase in primary school pupils up until at least 2019 in parts of the country”.
“To meet the continuing growing population of our primary school going children, we will have to establish seven new primary schools as well as extending a number of existing schools.”
Of the seven new schools, four will open in 2015 with the other three opening in 2016.
Cork, Dublin, Galway and Wicklow remain areas of a high rate of primary school going children and this is where the new schools will be located.
There will be one school in Cork, four in Dublin, one in Galway and one in Wicklow.
The basic construction costs for the seven new schools will broadly be in the region of €24m. This level of investment by the State will support some 240 direct jobs and 48 indirect jobs.
Patronage for two of the schools starting in 2015 has already been decided under a previous patronage determination process. A patronage determination process will shortly be run for the other two schools starting in 2015. A patronage determination process for the 2016 schools will be carried out later this year.
These seven new schools will be in addition to 20 new primary schools that opened since 2011. The seven new schools between them they will cater for almost 3,000 pupils when fully developed.
The schools will be established in line with the arrangements and criteria announced in June 2011 for patronage determination.
Minister O’Sullivan said: “The establishment of new schools provides an opportunity for patrons to apply to run the schools. The criteria to be used in deciding on patronage of the new schools place a particular emphasis on parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage. Parental preferences should be at the centre of considerations about the type of school to be recognised. The patronage arrangements in place provide that patron bodies proposing schools at either primary or second level will be asked to provide evidence of demand.”
Minister O’Sullivan continued: “This approach emphasises my commitment to ensure the implementation of the commitments in the Programme for Government on moving towards a more pluralist system of patronage at primary level. “It also builds on the work of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector.”
The Department will be contacting patrons shortly to commence the patronage determination
process for the 2015 schools concerned.